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Is A Non Addictive Opioid Painkiller in Development?

One of the terrible side effects of painkillers is they can be highly addictive, as we’ve seen with the current opioid crisis. But now the L.A. Times reports a non-addictive painkiller is currently in the works, and it could indeed be a major boon if it could numb pain without the terrible side effects. *The L.A. Times reports that a newly engineered painkiller that’s currently in development “works like an opioid,” but when tested on animals, it doesn’t make them addicted. This pill has been in development from Tomas Joaquin Fernandez, a researcher at the University of Michigan Medical School. *As this report explains, this pill could squelch pain in the brain “while blocking the receptors responsible for fostering dependence and building tolerance” for the drug. When testing the drug on mice, it proved to be less addictive than morphine, and as Fernandez explains, “We are striving to solve the opioid epidemic by working at the most fundamental problem: the effective treatment of pain.” *Fernandez added, “Our work can also provide other researchers with a better understanding of opioid receptors and interactions between receptors, which could be exploited to develop better options for pain management.” While it’s not clear how much further this current research has to go before we could have non-addictive painkillers, it would certainly be wonderful if they became a reality one day.

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